AP European History DBQ It is all about looking closely at the evidence and explaining what you see! 9 Steps to a 9 What is a DBQ? • The name has it: this essay uses documents as persuasive evidence in your response to the question. • If you don’t answer the question by carefully analyzing and incorporating the documents, you have missed the task. What do you need to do? • Answer the historical question directly • Provide a clear, complex thesis that does not simply rephrase the question • Outline your supporting arguments • Use the documents persuasively as evidence for your arguments • Show awareness of how point-of-view affects the information in documents • Find themes and connections between documents This sounds impossible! Fear not! • DBQs are not impossible. They are challenging but also fun. • You get to condense all of your historical skills into short bursts of interpretation • The more you practice, the easier they get • There are 9 steps to a perfect 9… –Practice these every time and your score will continue to improve! Step 1: Read the Instructions • An AP DBQ will typically provide you with several handy pieces of information – Timing guidelines – Reminders (a “checklist” of skills) • Thesis answers question • Majority of documents specifically used • POV and Groupings – A question or prompt that breaks down the tasks into several parts – Historical background information Step 2. Read and Interpret the Question • Read the question for what is says and what it implies • Rephrase the question for yourself • List the tasks individually (describe, analyze…) • List the parts of your answer you will need • Rewrite dates (17th century 1600s) Step 3. Background to Foreground Frame the time and place with hub dates—list them! Use “PERSIA”! Jot down a preliminary thesis—how would you answer this without documents? Step 4. Skim the Documents for Key Information Hey! You know this guy! Always skim for known authors and documents Document 3 Information about nationality and occupation of author Source: Jacques Bossuet, French Bishop, Politics Taken from the Very Word of Scripture, 1679 If the main idea The power of God makes itself felt in a moment is easy to from one extremity of the earth to another. identify Royal power works at the same time on first throughout all the realm. It holds all the realm in position, as God holds the earth. Should glance, God withdraw his hand, the earth would fall to highlight pieces; should the king's authority cease in or note it the realm, all would be in confusion. Check for years on each document and keep them grouped around hub dates, and early to late Step 5. Mark-up the Documents, keeping organizers as you go • Highlight or underline only CRITICAL info, the summarize in margins • Group by date, by nationality, by topic, by author, by type • POV indicators: sex/ gender, class, occupation, religion, political affiliation, age Don’t waste time summarizing each document—just the stuff you might use. Create a “T-chart” or web to establish groups, and let the question guide you. Always ask: what do I (think I) know about the author, and how would that influence the perspective here? Step 6. Analyze the documents Sola Scriptura?… Now it is just you and the text. So what are the documents saying in response to the question? What are the documents saying to each other? You are responsible for helping your readers see what you see—analysis is not just about observing, but also describing and explaining! Step 7. Revise and Clarify your THESIS A great DBQ thesis must… Fully and directly answer the question Go beyond restating the question Take a stand that is debatable and defensible Clearly preview (outline) where you are going with your arguments Be based on the evidence at hand If you can’t support it with the documents, it isn’t a great DBQ thesis! Step 8. Set the Stage Give a sense of place and context—what are the big themes, and where are we, literally? Get to the heart of the matter: State your thesis clearly, and outline your arguments to come. Set the time clearly for readers—what has come before. What are the issues in the background that frame your thesis? Step 9. Persuade with Evidence and Write with Flair! • Write your essay in an organized, 5-P format • Underline your thesis • State your claims and back them up with sound argumentation • Always explain your evidence • Write with enthusiasm and energy! A few follow-up points • Remember to introduce your evidence as you would introduce a guest…with relevant information and thoughtful details. “Immanuel Kant, an influential Prussian philosopher in the time of Frederick II, believed that a free press was a necessary pre-condition to an Enlightened Society.” NOT: Document 4 says there should be a free press. Describe POV with care • Explain WHY the person’s identity would influence his or her understanding… “Elizabeth I, who as a young monarch struggled to control religious dissenters, understood the stability of the state to be more important than personal religious conviction. This is seen in…” Check Yourself! ? Did you underline your thesis? ? Did you answer all parts of the question? ? Did you outline your arguments in the opening paragraph? ? Did you set the time and place? ? Did you describe and explain documents? ? Did you introduce your people with relevant information? ? Did you use a majority of the documents?